10/15/2014: Phil…..been travelling more than not but reading and watching you guys every night. This is to say a big thank you. Even though I don't have the time to trade every day now I set up hedges and base long term strategy on PSW. I now it may sound like BS to some readers but my 401k is down a mere 3%. It hardly gets my attention when I open my brokerage portfolio accounts. And that is by using your longer term hedges and strategies. I don't need to be a day trader to take advantage of PSW. At this time in my life when I cant trade every day……. not losing what we've gained moves front and center. It's just a great feeling to watch your brokerage account hold steady in a sea of red. Thanks Teacher.
Great call on expe Phil! Went long 50 shares and sold for a nice profit! And Great call on the nkd shorts as well. I didn't use a stop that tight and was able to cover for a $400 gain. Works been keeping me pretty busy and I'm jealous of all the members who are able to check in here more often! It's almost always quite profitable! Looking forward to Vegas!
Phil, I followed your investing ideas in LTP quite closely. It seems your insightful fundamental analysis knowledge serves you v. well. I get entertained and they are profitable.
Thx Phil. Lightly moving in the bullish direction. Took PFE for $14.35 and sold the Jan 11 C/P for $2.85 giving me a net entry below Mar 09 low. And I bought back those calls on BTU and JPM I asked about the other day and am leaving them uncovered for now, so feeling better. Still just learning the rhythm.
In the three months I have been using your system, my little portfolio is up 9.9%, so not only am I learning, but I am APPLYING that knowledge, and it's paying off. Thanks.
Thanks for the oil tip Phil: Bot & sold the USO May 29 calls for net $125. Not bad for few minutes work.
Your discussion during your web seminar on SPX and SDS today was great. It really let me see how you look at the numbers and use the 5% rule to see where inflection points occur and what the bands look like. This was incredibly helpful. I actually sold out of my small short position at a good profit ( which was more a bet on a short term fluctuation rather than a hedge after listening to you) and will look more deeply at my portfolio and how to hedge it. In addition your view on hedging was also very helpful looking at the leverage you can get w/ a small spread, and protect portfolio against a big move against me. Thank you for your sharing this. Very helpful.
Phil Thank you very much, I appreciate your help and wisdom.
Tesla et. al. – I've spent many months getting hammered shorting overvalued Momos, until, finally, I internalized Phil's message. Play small; give yourself plenty of room to double/move up the [lack of value] chain in terms of price. Play short; take [Musk's, eg.] latest bleep and sell the spike for a short time frame, because his tweets always come to naught. I've been coining money doing it, I just watch that premium melt away with scarcely veiled amusement. Swinging for the fences is for suckers [me, for a long time]. Those little gains really add up — $2k per week of evaporated premium and you could actually buy a Tesla by the end of the year!!
Great calls this week!
WOW, look at DRYS go. Nice call on the entry the other week Phil. I got 200 at $6.66 and sold a 7.5 call for $.50, then on the tear today sold another 7.5 call for $1. This should puts me in at an average of $5.91 and called away at $7.5 for a profit of $300+ after commisions. Once again another Phil trade pays for this months membership.
I cannot believe the success I have had in the last 6 months because of what I have learned here! It has been truly life changing. It's like the old adage about teaching someone how to fish instead of just giving them a fish. Thank you Phil, I am forever grateful and hope I have helped someone else along the way.
Phil/Eric/Cwan/Matt/Cap/etc.. - I've learned so much from all of you and want to thank you. I'm up 23% this month thanks to all of your advice - Thanks, guys!
Phil...The hundred grand portfolio updates are helpful...Fun ..and have been profitable...really like em... made some nice entries into USB, KEY today... and I better add those FAZ calls tomorrow... Really glad you put that up this morning...
Newer member here, but just wanted to say thank you too. I've learned so much and I hope you'll be around for a long time helping us learn along the way.
I must add yet another paen to Phil's "cash and short" call, as my TZA shorts are past paying for Similac and Pampers and have now covered all doctors and Mt. Sinai hospital bills for young Charlotte, as TZA took the portfolio up 10%.
WISH TO EXTEND A BIG THANK YOU! I netted about $18,000 on the short Jan puts and the annualized ROI/M is mind boggling! Hope to meet you some day and buy you and your significant other a nice dinner.
PSW – Price/Value; The value of PSW on a regular basis exceeds by far the price of the annual subscription. The edition of February 26 'Which Way Wednesday – Popping or Topping?', – priceless for the serious investor.
Phil - Your logic not only makes sense, but it made a lot of premium profit for me over the past 12 months. I have recovered much of the massive equity losses of last year. My Monday play is the sale of long term puts on FXI. Love the premium!
Phil I must say that it was really nice to have a portfolio that was looking very stable in the face of a rough day for the markets. I ended the day up 0.3% which includes another successful day of futures trading. So with a portfolio of mostly cash, a few of our faves like Apple and LL, JO, TOL, DIS, etc., along with a couple of hedges that paid off nicely today, and my futures trades, I never had to break a sweat during that madhouse today. Yes, by George (or Phil), I may be learning this system!
I am a Registered Nurse, so is my wife. We work hard to take care of seven kids that are the joy of our lives. The cost for a basic membership is ALOT from our our monthly budget of spending and saving…but well worth it! Phil has allowed me to really ramp up the savings we put away for our children's college funds and our retirement.
Hey Phil - writing to thank you!
First of all, and I know you have heard this a few times form some others - the portfolio updates you have done - with entries and targets and even margin reqs are invaluable!
I find myself understanding what is done here IN THEORY most of the time..however, there is a much bigger difference in placing and setting up the hedges properly than just understanding…This has been eye opening for me and Ifeel like I just took a major step in trading during the last week.
Kudos on the POT puts! I studied the charts last night and you couldn't have hit the inflection points more perfectly. Since there are often many head fakes in the charts, that was very well done. I know they can't all work this well, but that was an extra unexpected bonus yesterday.
I'm just starting my second year as a member, and I'd like to thank all of you for sharing your trading ideas and insight, and especially Phil of course for great all-around investing advice as well as trades! In addition to learning patience and profit-taking, I think one of the most important things I'm learning here is to stick to stocks and trades that suit my temperament. And wow, I had NO idea how hard it was to learn patience. I should say "practice" instead of "learn", because it seems to be a constant struggle. Phil, please keep reminding us how nice CASH is!
Phil, I don't know how I can thank you enough for your guidance this past week. I'm up significantly in my portfolio and I've never been so relaxed watching the market panic. Thanks once again for being here for us.
thank you for the thorough response(s). I joined this group last week to take my education to the next level. the school i am involved with very good at calling out levels but very little live trading and little help in managing a position going against you.
I like the combo of knowing where the major levels are coupled with your approach to getting in. learned a lot this week.
A truly great website with a lot of information for investors. Whether you are a novice, seasoned, or a professional there is a lot to be gained about stock options and options trading from this very informative website.
Phil - I got your earlier trade a month or so ago on MSFT 2015 32/37 BCS, selling 2015 30 puts. Nice up 75% now!
Thanks Phil, for banging the table on getting short and getting to cash. Usually when this happens in the market I am freaking out but I actually made money this week thanks to you. That HOV trade was a great way to re-deploy some of my cash.
Blessings, ALL: So we have completed two months of 2015. So far it has been a good ride with my PSW all short put portfolio showing a 15.73% gain with $83K in profits harvested in 2015.
Hey Phil -- I want to thank you every chance I get for helping me to grow my previous portfolio to being profitable enough to pay off some debts my family had and left me with $1,000 left to use in the markets. You should know that your premium membership is amazing on many levels, You and your readers offer a ton of economic and statistical analysis that I was able to use in my clerical level job in finance. It's a shame that someone as talented and honest as you is not on television each night providing a true service to the investing public and not the clowns and hucksters that are talking up their books to dump on retail investors. Sorry for the long post. I had to say something to you that I never thought I would have the opportunity to. You helped put my family in an almost debt-free life through the stock and option plays that I made during my time as a customer of your service and that has made us very happy. You are a good man and I wish you and your family many years of joy and happiness. I wish I could do ads for you!
At the end of the day it’s still earnings that matter most. As the expectation ratio has shown, the stock market has remained resilient primarily due to the fact that expectations for earnings have become very low and more corporations are outperforming the low hurdles. But a look under the hood has shed some light on the true strength of these earnings. We’ve seen a common trend of late. Companies are missing top line estimates and handily beating bottom line estimates. The two most recent examples of this phenomenon were RIMM and FedEx. 72% of the S&P 500 reported revenues that were lower than the same quarter last year. As corporations shed workers and other costs they’re actually able to outpace their revenue declines with cost cuts. While we’re still seeing very weak revenues figures (which is representative of the weak economic landscape) we’re actually seeing some margin stabilization and subsequently better than expected bottom line growth. This chart from JP Morgan shows the trend at hand:
GDP is expected to climb substantially this quarter. We’re also seeing some stabilization in overall economic productivity. Meanwhile, on the cost side we’re continuing to see very low levels of hiring, low labor costs, low business spending and inventories. Revenues are down just 17% for the overall S&P 500 on a year over year basis, but as you can see in the following two charts spending and inventories have nosedived:
As JP Morgan notes, there is no evidence that this is sustainable or positive for the markets in the long-term though:
Corporate defense of profits and financial standing, that is continuing in the current quarter, is apparently being rewarded in the credit markets. Corporate spreads over Treasuries and corporate bond yields have continued to decline in the past several weeks even as other longer-term market interest rates were rising.
The implications of corporate financial performance for economic growth over the coming year is uncertain. Business will emerge from recession in better financial health than compared to exits from past recessions, and with internal funds running well above capital spending. These conditions might argue for a relatively robust corporate expansion.
But for this to happen, the extreme caution that produced these financial results has to change. And there is no
While most pundits are still grasping at anecdotal “green shoots” to celebrate the beginning of a “recovery,” the hard data just released by the Federal Reserve reveals a continuing collapse of unprecedented dimensions.
First and foremost, the Fed’s numbers demonstrate, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the credit market meltdown, which struck with full force after the Lehman Brothers failure last September, actually got a lot worse in the first quarter of this year.
click on chart for sharper image
Open Market Paper: Instead of growing as it had in almost every prior quarter in history, it collapsed at the annual rate of $662.5 billion. (See line 2.)
Banks lending: Credit markets [collapsed] at the astonishing pace of $856.4 billion per year, their biggest cutback of all time (line 7).
Nonbank lending: (line 8 ) pulled out at the annual rate of $468 billion, also the worst on record.
Mortgage lenders: (line 9) pulled out for a third straight month. (Their worst on record was in the prior quarter.)
Consumers: (line 10) were shoved out of the market for credit at the annual pace of $90.7 billion, the worst on record.
The ONLY major player still borrowing money in big amounts was the United States Treasury Department (line 3), sopping up $1,442.8 billion of the credit available — and leaving LESS than nothing for the private sector as a whole.
Bottom line: The first quarter brought the greatest credit collapse of all time.
Excluding public sector borrowing (by the Treasury, government agencies, states, and municipalities), private sector credit was reduced at a mindboggling pace of $1,851.2 billion per year!
And even if you include all the government borrowing, the overall
Total Industry Charts (US, Canada and Mexico)
Year over Year Percent Change – 13 Week Rolling Averages
click on chart for sharper image
13-week moving averages are still moving lower, with no apparent end in sight. The first chart shows the one relatively bright spot is coal. I hear the same message about coal from trucker friends.
I travel a number of routes regularly with my job and one site I pass amazes me. It is a local trucking company property. In early summer 2008 there were maybe 100 total trucks and trailers. Today, there is not much room left in a 12 acre area with 100s for trucks and trailers can not guess the number of trailers stacked 3 to 4 high.
I had heard through a trailer dealer that this trucking company solely purchased equipment to move wind energy projects for a number of years and this year canceled all equipment orders.
I also pass by a switchyard for a BNSF line between Seattle and Chicago once a month. The switchyard is a transfer point for the main line to a local. Freight would wait until there was an opening on the local line or an available engine. Prior to July/August 2008 the yard would have various car carriers, containers and other freight along side the coal cars destined for the power plants. Today only the coal cars are parked there. There is no waiting, except for coal.
Truckers larger and small will need to keep their belts tightened into the early part of next year before they can expect to see freight volumes start increasing, according to the latest industry analysis compiled by FTR Associates.
In a conference call with reporters last week, FTR analysts noted that for freight to start recovering, it must "reach a bottom first" and they predicted the bottom will be reached in the third to fourth quarter of this year. That will lead to a recovery in freight volume to begin sometime in the first quarter of 2010.
Depending upon your philosophical bent, this is either good news or another sign that the Apocalypse is near.
The WSJ is reporting that Toyota is slated to take over the title as the number 1 seller of light vehicles in the U.S.
The bankruptcies of General Motors and Chrysler are changing the landscape of the auto industry. The two U.S. companies are shuttering plants, shedding dealers and reducing their product lines.
As a result, Toyota Motor will become the largest seller of light vehicles in the U.S. It has held the top spot globally since last year.
The Japanese auto maker won’t be the only beneficiary of the two companies’ woes. But in terms of status, market clout and bragging rights, Toyota will be the No. 1 winner.
Its share of the North American light-truck and car market probably will rise to around 20% from 18.4%. GM will end up in second place with 13% to 16% — with Ford hot on its tail.
Although Toyota stock doesn’t change hands directly in the U.S., the company’s American depositary shares (TM), which represent them, are listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
And, at a recent price of around $76 — about $30 below their 52-week high — they’re a good bet for long-term investors.
The Journal suggests that the stock might be a good long-term buy. They point out that analysts suggest it could hit $115 and that it hit $137 a couple of years ago. Maybe, but just a caveat. Toyota and others now have the most fearsome of competitors – government owned companies. In the long run that probably means success for the competitors as political decisions trump business common sense. In the short run it could be formidable as the government does whatever is necessary to prove it didn’t make the stupid decision that everyone acknowledges it did.
Not one macroeconomist acknowledges what I believe to be the true cause of the current collapse of effective demand, the extreme skewness of the income distribution and the attendant indebtedness and inability to spend at previous levels of the bottom half or better of the household income distribution. My reference rant on this subject is here. [Read the rant too, it's a good one. - Ilene]
The macroeconomists keep talking about “monetary stimulus” and “fiscal stimulus” as if they’re talking about stepping on the accelerator of a gasoline internal combustion engine. Except that the engine is running on one cylinder, and if they “prime” the engine, all the gasoline is only going to fire on one cylinder, the one that’s getting the gas—in terms of this metaphor, the rich folks at the top of the currently neo-feudal pecking order.
The fiscal and monetary stimuli of the Great Depression failed to make the income distribution more equal, and failed to reduce unemployment to reasonable levels. Most households weren’t participating in the flow of income to a sufficient degree for that to happen.
It’s time for the policymakers to realize that the economy is in the middle of a vast transition from a debt-financed consumption-heavy economy to one that is higher saving and more investment oriented. That’s a big change, one that will take years. Businesses aren’t going to want to invest in capital formation for consumer markets when they won’t know what the prospective returns are until we burn off some of our excess capacity and consumption patterns stabilize, in sum and in composition, in some new configuration.
It took World War II to equalize the American income distribution last time, a frightening thought. I have no idea what it will take this time.
The best macroeconomic policy right now, and the only one we can afford, is to provide honorable workfare to the growing ranks of the unemployed—in part so that they do not become radicalized and alienated from America—and health benefits so that we don’t compound the losses of the current slump with avoidable sickness.
Macroeconomics in toto—the academic work plus the way it has entered policy—is
Another post published today at the Prudent Investor Newsletters blog, "Chart: Global Food Price Inflation," points to a report in The Economist that might help explain the sense of urgency driving at least some of those efforts.
Inflation’s impact is always relative. And it can be seen in food prices across different nations.
"Changes in global food prices are affecting some countries much more than others. Despite a big fall from peaks in 2008, food-price inflation remains high in places such as Kenya and Russia. In China, however, falling international commodity prices have been passed on to consumers faster. The price of food, as measured by its component in China’s consumer-price index, rose by more than 20% in 2007 but fell by 1.9% in 2008 and by a further 1.3% in the past three months alone."
Of course, there are also many factors that gives rise to these disparities, aside from monetary and fiscal policies (taxes, tariffs, subsidies, etc…), there are considerations of the conditions of infrastructure, capital structure, logistics/distribution, markets, arable lands, water, soil fertility, technology, productivity, economic structure and etc.
Our concern is given the present "benign state of inflation", some developing countries have already been experiencing high food prices, what more if inflation gets a deeper traction globally? Could this be an ominous sign of food crisis perhaps?
Just a couple of decades ago it would have been almost unfathomable for the retail investor to consider generating consistent returns above 20% per year. Indeed, those who competed in arguably the most competitive financial market place, the stock market, were considered gurus when they beat the S&P 500 year in and year out.
Others, such as Jerome Kohlberg, Henry Kravis and George Roberts made a name for themselves in private equity as did Peter Peterson and Stephen Schwarzman with the Blackstone Group. Gains in the stock market for Joe Public were subjected to a limiting factor – the inability to leverage substantially. Joe Public was also limited in participating in private equity investments; they were the domain of the rich – the insiders. These days, private equity still remains the domain of the rich, but leveraging is possible through the purchase of equity derivatives. And the sale of those same equity derivatives can be highly profitable too.
Whereas it would have been unthinkable years ago to consider making big profits year in and year out on a stock that doesn't move much – because the only source of income, dividends, tended to be in the low single digits in percentage terms - these days options afford us the opportunity to sit tight and profit while holding stock positions. This can easily be achieved through the sale of short call options against stock holdings, otherwise known as the Covered Call strategy. While the Covered Call strategy may appear straightforward when first encountered, many applications may be employed. In this article, we will consider the application that Stock and Option Trades labels: 7 Steps to 40% per year!
Step 1: Wait for a selloff
Ok, so you want to skip this step and move on to Step 2. Wait!
One of the great quotes in investing comes from Jesse Livermore and pertains to this concept of patience. In Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, it is stated:
"It never was my thinking that made the big money for me. It always was my sitting.Got that?My sitting tight!It is no trick at all to be right on the market.You always find lots of early bulls in bull markets and early bears in…
Below are two seemingly unrelated articles that tell a similar story: talk that the global economy is on the upswing seems to be premature, to say the least.
In the first report (hat tip to Calculated Risk), the Vice Chairman of General Electric, a company with 14 major lines of business — appliances, aviation, consumer electronics, electrical distribution, energy, business finance, consumer finance, healthcare, lighting, commercial and industrial markets, media & entertainment, oil & gas, rail, and security — and a presence in more than 100 countries, states point-blank that they are not seeing evidence of the turnaround that policymakers (e.g., Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke), clueless Wall Street types (see: "The Wall Street Clown Show"), and TV pundits keep referring to.
The second article by well regarded analyst Andy Xie (hat tip to Naked Capitalism) is even more interesting, because it doesn’t just undermine the notion that China is on the mend — bolstering arguments I made previously in "Holes in the China Recovery Story" — and poised to kick-start a global economic recovery. It also raises questions about the recent sharp run-up in commodity prices, which many analysts say is a reflection of improving economic conditions but which seems to stem from a combination of technical buying and debt-financed speculation.
General Electric Co. Vice Chairman John Rice said he isn’t seeing an increase in orders even as U.S. economic statistics suggest the world’s largest economy may soon shift to a recovery.
“I am not particularly of the green shoots group yet,” Rice said today to the Atlanta Press Club, referring to a phrase used by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke that described signs of a nascent recovery. “I have not seen it in our order patterns yet. At the macro level, there may be statistics suggesting the economy is starting to turn. I am not seeing it yet.”
GE is the world’s biggest maker of jet engines, power-plant turbines, locomotives, medical imaging equipment. Rice oversees the Fairfield, Connecticut-based company’s industrial businesses.
Here’s some recent news about the real estate markets in China. I think it is fascinating watching how these things unfold. This proves once again that the lesson of history is that we don’t learn the lessons of history.
I predicted over 2 years ago that the Chinese stock markets would implode dramatically, much to everybody’s disbelief and skepticism. It began a few months sooner than I thought, but, that is exactly what has happened. Now for the last year or so, I have predicted that things will get VERY bad in the Chinese real estate markets over the next several years. Again, most people I have talked to about this (especially Chinese) have almost universally dismissed this notion as absurd.
But this is not just a guess. When you read these articles, you will see just some of the evidence that leads me to this conclusion. There are a lot of data on this, and most of it comes from statistics issued by various Chinese government agencies. But it is not advertised by the mainland press or TV. So, many Chinese are not at all aware, and think that everything will soon be wonderful, because that is pretty much what they constantly hear from the official media.
That is one thing I noticed immediately about China: there is a constant barrage everywhere you turn—-TV, advertisements, magazines, newspapers, billboards, etc.—-that essentially suggests that everything is wonderful and getting more wonderful all the time, and everybody is just happy, happy, happy, and China is getting better and better and stronger and stronger. I was really struck by this. It was like living in a never-ending infomercial. Maybe some go to China and are not very aware of this, but to me it was like a constant din.
Actually, at least some of this data is readily available on the mainland. But it requires digging. The official news agencies like Xinhua and the People’s Daily just keep repeating the same mindless mantra in endlessly varying ways every day: “Everything is good, there are only a few small little problems, but the Motherland is unstoppable and will just get mightier and mightier.” If the Falun Gong would just chant that mantra, they would get to keep their organs and they would have no more problems in China.
It is an obvious fact that the oligarchic One Percent have anointed Hillary, despite her myriad problems to be President of the US. There are reports that her staff are already moving into their White House offices. This much confidence before the vote does suggest that the skids have been greased.
By The Foundation for Economic Education. Originally published at ValueWalk.
It’s not exactly news that capitalism has an image problem. Say the word “capitalist” and the image that comes to mind is of a rapacious, self-interested robber baron – less Steve Jobs or Warren Buffett, more Charles Montgomery Burns.
Among young people, the problem is even more severe. For the generation who came of age during the financial crisis, argues George Koopman of the Mercatus Centre in the Wall Street Journal:
“…capitalism isn’t about free enterprise, nor is it about the startups and innovation. When they hear the term, millennials think about Wall Street bailouts, corporate greed, political scandals and tax codes riddle...
The key problem with Pritchard’s superficial analysis is the Lehman bankruptcy is about the only thing the Fed got right.
Liquidity is suddenly drying up. Early warning indicators from US ‘flow of funds’ data point to an incipent squeeze, the long-feared capitulation after five successive quarters of declining corporate profits.
Yet the Fed is methodically draining money through ‘reverse repos’ regardless. It has set the course for a rise in interest rates in December and seems to be on automatic pilot...
At one point in time, actually for years, Bio-Tech (IBB) was a market leader. From the 2009 lows to 2015, IBB out gained the S&P by more than 250%. Since the summer of 2015, Bio Tech has remained a leader, a “downside leader!” IBB has lagged the S&P by over 35% in the past 15-months.
Is the downside leadership over for IBB? Below updates the pattern on IBB
A continuation of a Naybob of IT's Natterings from Part 1 and Part 2...
While many Christian churches expressed grief and offered free funeral services for the victims of the Orlando shooting, the fundamentalist Westboro Baptist Church held an anti-gay protest during the funeral of the victims.
But the Westboro Baptist Church's protest rally was blocked by about 200 people who formed a human barricade on the main street in downtown Orlando, ...
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There is a reason no Berkshire Hathaway investor chides Buffett when the company has a bad quarter. It’s because Buffett has so thoroughly convinced his investors that it’s pointless to try to navigate around 90-day intervals. He’s done that by writing incredibly lucid letters to investors for the last 50 years, communicating in easy-to-understand language at annual meetings, and speaking on TV in ways that someone with no investing experience can grasp.
Yes, Buffett runs an amazing investment company. But he also runs an amazing investor company. One of the most underappreciated part of his s...
I was so pleased yesterday by the announcement that I have joined the Research team at GoldCore as it meant that I could finally start talking about it and was back in a role that lets me indulge in my passion by researching and geeking out on all things gold, silver and money.
Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.
Epizyme was founded in 2007, and trying to create drugs to treat patient's cancer by focusing on genetically-linked differences between normal and cancer cells. Cancer areas of focus include leukemia, Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and breast cancer. One of the Epizme cofounders, H. Robert Horvitz, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2002 for "discoveries concerning genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death."
Before discussing the drug targets of Epizyme, understanding epigenetics is crucial to comprehend the company's goals.
Genetic components are the DNA sequences that are 'inherited.' Some of these genes are stronger than others in their expression (e.g., eye color). Yet, some genes turn on or off due to external factors (environmental), and it is und...
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